July 27th. Circle your calendars; set a reminder; tattoo your arms… do all three. July 27th is the day Microsoft releases Windows 10, the successor to Windows 8 and 8.1. What does this mean to you and how can Long View help get you there?
Chances are you’re reading this on a Windows 7 computer – you’re not alone in this. It’s been widely reported that the adoption of Windows 8 and 8.1 in small business and enterprises across North America has been lower than anticipated. At Long View we frequently hear the following when we talk to businesses about why they are slow or hesitant to adopt Windows 8 and 8.1:
- “The Start menu is gone”;
- “The Start screen is confusing”;
- “There’s really nothing wrong with Windows 7”; and,
- “The Start menu is gone!!”
To the Windows 7 concern, you’re right – there is nothing wrong with Windows 7.
However, Mainstream Support for Windows 7 ended in January of 2015, which means no further features or tweaks are being made for it, and Extended Support, including software updates and hotfixes, expires in 2020. While that’s 5 years away, it will come faster than you think.
The other three (okay, two) points have been addressed as part of Windows 10 and are discussed below.
Enter Windows 10
We’ll get this out of the way first: the Start menu that you know and love is back, in its rightful place, only now it mixes its classic look with the Windows 8.1 Live Tiles.
Here is a quick sampling of some of the other new features in Windows 10:
- Continuum – A single continuous Windows desktop experience across desktops, tablets, and phones;
- Universal Applications – The same application will run across on everything from your XBOX to your Windows 10 phone, and will be automatically formatted to your screen;
- Microsoft Passport – Strong two-factor authentication against a Microsoft account, Active Directory account, Azure AD account, or any service that supports Fast ID Online (FIDO);
- Enterprise Data Protection – Provides for enhanced separation of personal and work containers on employee-owned devices in the enterprise, including protection against data leakage;
- Drive Guard – Providing advanced malware protection, enterprises can now lock down the desktop to only allow trusted applications (including internal signing rights) to run;
- Device management – MDM in Windows 10 aligns with Windows 8.1, but is expanded to support additional enterprise scenarios, including multiple users, VPN, and more; and,
- Provisioning Packages – Devices can now be be quickly and efficiently configured and provisioned without the need to install a new Windows image; and,
- Windows Hello – Biometric authentication, allowing you to use your iris, fingerprint, or face to unlock your devices (note: specialized hardware is required).
There are more updates, including changes to the Command Prompt, Notifications, Windows Explorer, Keyboard Shortcuts, File History, Built-In apps, Microsoft Edge, Cortana (digital assistant) integration, etc.
How Can Long View Help
Long View consultants have a wealth of knowledge and experience in migrating Windows operating systems. We take into account:
- Application compatibility and remediation;
- Group policy changes;
- Local and network storage;
- Windows image sizes for WAN or LAN deployment;
- Existing data backup;
- Driver updates and deployments across multiple PC types; and,
- End-user desktop experience.
You don’t have to wait until that tattoo matches the date to start getting prepared for Windows 10. Long View consultants are able to leverage their experience with SCCM and/or MDT to come up with a comprehensive, targeted, well executed, and automated Windows 10 deployment and migration strategy for your business.